A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:
Israel killed members of the Islamic Jihad’s armed wing in southern Gaza last weekend prompting strong reaction. The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin was critical of The New York Times’ coverage of the attack. “This is emblematic of the bastardization of language that has gone on in recent years. Writers and editors cowed by the legion of anti-Israel voices, use kid gloves to describe murderers,” she said. But The Washington Post hasn’t been telling the whole story either, said one American Thinker blogger. The media’s coverage of these international events has room to improve.
As Palestinian chairman Mahmoud Abbas declared that he will never recognize a “Jewish state,” America must tread carefully with how it proceeds as an advocate of Israel. “We believe that Israel’s substantial contributions to U.S. interests are an underappreciated aspect of this relationship and deserve equal billing to shared values and historical responsibility as rationales for American support of Israel,” said Robert D. Blackwill in the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, Richard Goldstone continued to walk back from his controversial report.
“House Republicans are putting the economic interests of Arizona ahead of the defense of Israel,” said USA Today’s DeWayne Wickham who is worried about a uranium bill. “That kind of shortsightedness could erase any gains the GOP has made with Jewish voters just in time for the 2012 election.” But the ultra-Orthodox vote is in the bag, said Shmarya Rosenberg in Moment Magazine. “By voting for candidates who are conservative on social issues and hawkish on defense and Israel, Haredim believe they are doing God’s will, and this is how most will vote unless their leaders tell them otherwise.” Michelle Kraus at The Huffington Post said that the classic campaign tropes have returned again: “The Orthodox are being whipped into a fervor over Israel; while the younger and often more modern Jews are having their heartstrings plucked about human rights and the Settlements. Sadly in this mix, Obama just can’t catch a break of any kind.”
The loudest opponent of Occupy Wall Street this week has been Marc Epstein, owner of Milk Street Cafe which lives on Wall Street. Epstein revealed that his business numbers are so far down in recent weeks that he was forced to lay off staff. With some people already worried about anti-Semitism in Zuccotti Park, others are fretting over the movement’s impact. “The dangerous attempt to assimilate the Jewish religious tradition and the radically leftist goals of many OWS protestors appears to be a goal of Occupy Judaism. The group, which has emerged as a movement of those who are dissatisfied with Jewish institutions and synagogues, hopes to change Jewish religious practice from within,” said Fay Voshell at American Thinker. “The desire is to further radicalize Judaism, some branches of which are already allied with leftist ideals.” If Jewish history is an indication, this movement could prove valuable, though.
Gadhafi’s Jewish pen pal
A retired Jewish florist from Brooklyn named Louis Schlamowitz, 81, was a secret pen pal of the Libyan dictator for decades, according to reports. “He was a good pen pal,” Schlamowitz said. These letters have helped us learn new details about the fallen leader. But Schlamowitz decided to stop their correspondence in 1988 after Gadhafi was incriminated in the Lockerbie bombing. This past spring, though, he wrote Gaddafi again that “if you don’t take care of your people, your people will take care of you.” He got no reply.